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article imageSwedish, German firms reach tentative pact in submarine dispute

By Martin Laine     Apr 14, 2014 in Business
After months of tension over the future of Sweden’s Kockums shipyards, a memorandum of understanding has been reached between the German owner and a prospective Swedish buyer. If approved, the deal would put the historic shipyards back in Swedish hands.
“The transaction will be subject to regulatory approval,” said a statement from Saab AB, a Swedish defense contractor, according to an article in today’s The Local.
The shipyards, located in Malmo, had been building ships for the Swedish Navy for over a century. In 2005, it was bought out by the German industrial conglomerate ThysenKrupp. Over the past year, ThyssenKrupp had gradually been phasing out the Swedish operation, first by excluding it from bidding on major new contracts, and finally, doing away with the original name.
Last month, Swedish Defense Materiel Administration Director Lena Erixon called the sale “a big mistake,” according to an article in Bloomberg Businessweek.
This touched off an effort by Saab AB, better known for its jet fighters, to try to establish its own submarine building division. Tactics included luring Swedish workers away from ThyssenKrupp to join their company.
In its statement, Saab AB said the memorandum is "in line with Saab’s ambition to expand its activities in the naval area and meets the needs of Sweden for an industrial solution regarding design, production, and maintenance of submarines and warships."
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